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Goba (b. est. 1868 - d. est. 1919) was an actor.

Once only known as Goba, under which name he was a valued member of the African Film Productions stock company during the heyday of South Africa’s silent movies, he is now known to have been Archibald Zonzo Goba. Not a young man, he was invariably cast as a loyal servant, sometimes required to put his life at risk in order to save his white mistress. Though so far little is known about him, it has been established that he grew up and lived at the Inanda Mission Station in KwaZulu-Natal. There was a suggestion that he had been I.W. Schlesinger’s head gardener and it is interesting to note that when, in 1908, he married for the second time (his first wife had died), his profession was given as “common labourer”. His known films are A Zulu’s Devotion (Lorimer Johnston/1916), De Voortrekkers (Harold M. Shaw/1916), A Border Scourge (Ralph Kimpton & Joseph Albrecht/1917) and The symbol of sacrifice (Dick Cruikshanks/1918). When, in May 1919, actress Edna Flugrath was interviewed by W.G. Faulkner, the critic of London’s Evening News, she informed him that Goba had died. Faulkner, often regarded as the United Kingdom’s first regular film critic, referred to him as “one of the greatest actors I ever saw”. (FO)


Andile Maxwell Hawes (private correspondence)

Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm

Evening News, London, 10 May 1919

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